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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time? (Read 2402 times)
kylemeister
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #10 - 04/24/15 at 21:58:45
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Well surely at least e4/d4/c4/Nc3 (versus g6/Bg7/d6) is also a main line -- it has been commonly regarded as basically += (if Black doesn't transpose to the KID).
  
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TalJechin
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #9 - 04/24/15 at 21:40:29
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In the Modern does White have all that many options to prepare? The opening seems rather limited for both sides to me, at least after 1.e4, 2.d4 and 3.Nc3 which will be most common. So Black can probably rely on being more familiar and more experienced with the typical positions and the sharper main lines.

Personally, back when I always played 1...f5 vs 1.d4/c4/Nf3, I had a few instances of serendipity where someone brought out something prepared and I had previously faced that line in online blitz and looked it up. In one case, a friend of mine who also played the Dutch asked me about a certain tricky line in the Staunton, I looked it up for him and just a couple of days later I faced that same line in the deciding Armageddon game for the club's rapid championship, and won easily despite only needing a draw. Smiley

So, in my humble opinion it's quite possible to play the Modern all the time, at least on a non-professional level. Occasionally, one could perhaps mix it up with a Pirc or Gurgenidze - on the amateur level you  usually know exactly which opponent is likely to be packing heat...
Though, it may well be too tempting to find out what they've prepared!

As long as you're really interested in the opening, keep up with top level practice and make sure you're well booked up against the three big ones, Nf3+Be3, f3+Be3 and f4, (plus recurring minor mainlines & tricky sidelines).
Most of that will come from "being really interested" as mentioned, and even with computers, most players won't be interested in spending the effort to find something new deep in the Modern maze.

So theoretically Black should be okay - but you will of course also need to play well, as most games are decided on mistakes and those are usually made by the underdog...

Btw, if someone has the understanding and energy to prepare something new and really strong against the Modern, then it's likely that he/she would've beaten you in any other opening as well. On the plus side, some of your losses could actually turn out to be surprise weapons for yourself when facing your own opening.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #8 - 04/24/15 at 16:34:50
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One might wonder what the OP's rating is, but it seems the norm for such "what opening should I play?" discussions to be carried out in a vacuum in that sense.  Does e.g. a 1600 player need to "play several things nowadays"?
  
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MartinC
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #7 - 04/24/15 at 13:57:02
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Sniper a truly bad idea as something to play all the time as it probably isn't fundamentally sound enough to stand the load.

The modern probably just about is, its just quite a bit of work Smiley Best to play several things if you can nowadays though.
  
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HagenWatch1
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #6 - 04/24/15 at 13:53:25
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Paul Brondal wrote on 04/24/15 at 13:24:59:
Interesting question. Personally, I like to play solid openings like the Caro Kann against strong opponents and play the Modern against weaker opponents since it gives double-edged play. Since the Modern has not been refuted, you could use it as your main weapon but then you really need to know your stuff. I have read a couple of the chapters in Tiger's Modern and some of the variations in the Austrian attack are razor-sharp. I don't think that it is a coincidence that the Modern is played only rarely at top level. If the Modern suits your style perfectly, then go for it but be prepared to lose some games where you are crushed due to some nasty home preparations.



Good advice. I agree with you here and I have to say I don't always play the Modern Defense as Black. I do have other arrows in my quiver. I use occasionally...the French Defense (White or Black), the Sicilian (Sveshnikov variation) - Black, The Elephant Gambit - now there's a surprise weapon! and the Caro Kann. But there is another defense I play and it's similar to the Modern...the Sicilian Sniper variation: g6, Bg7, c5?! This is another opening I'm tempted to use as Black all the time because it's also a system based weapon I can use against anything White plays.
  
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Paul Brondal
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #5 - 04/24/15 at 13:24:59
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Interesting question. Personally, I like to play solid openings like the Caro Kann against strong opponents and play the Modern against weaker opponents since it gives double-edged play. Since the Modern has not been refuted, you could use it as your main weapon but then you really need to know your stuff. I have read a couple of the chapters in Tiger's Modern and some of the variations in the Austrian attack are razor-sharp. I don't think that it is a coincidence that the Modern is played only rarely at top level. If the Modern suits your style perfectly, then go for it but be prepared to lose some games where you are crushed due to some nasty home preparations.
  
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HagenWatch1
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #4 - 04/24/15 at 12:55:32
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Paul Brondal wrote on 04/24/15 at 10:09:47:
I totally agree with MartinC. Use the Modern as a surprise weapon where you know what your opponent typically plays against this opening. The Austrian attack (Sc3 d4 e4 f4) is quite dangerous for black I feel. The Modern Tiger is a really good book on this opening but I daren't use this setup as my primary weapon.

Then this raises a question...if the Modern Defense should be used only as a surprise weapon, does the style of playing determine whether one should resort to using the Modern?

For example, after testing myself against computer programs like Stockfish, Rybka and Fritz I find my level of combative play more convincing when using the Modern. I've tried playing the e5 defenses against them and find my strategic understanding goes out the window because of the symmetry issues in those openings.

It's like I'm fighting against a mirror when trying to beat back The Scotch. This difficulty becomes acute because when I'm facing duplicate images of the same defense while playing Black it becomes hard trying to imbalance the symmetry. I can't quite feel confident my unbalancing efforts will yield satisfactory compensation for my troubles. Strangely enough this issue goes away when I use defences like the Modern.
  
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hicetnunc
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #3 - 04/24/15 at 11:34:05
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I've tried the Modern occasionally this year. I think it's perfectly okay to play it against anything white does (the only danger being if your games are in the public databases, allowing preparation).

But thinking it's any easier than the 'regular' defences is misguided : you need to be able to react to a myriad of different systems, play many different pawn structures, and as you concede space, you still have to prove equality if white does nothing special.

The good news is because you keep 8 pawns on board, you probably slightly increase your winning chances  Smiley
  

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Paul Brondal
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #2 - 04/24/15 at 10:09:47
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I totally agree with MartinC. Use the Modern as a surprise weapon where you know what your opponent typically plays against this opening. The Austrian attack (Sc3 d4 e4 f4) is quite dangerous for black I feel. The Modern Tiger is a really good book on this opening but I daren't use this setup as my primary weapon.
  
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MartinC
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Re: Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
Reply #1 - 04/24/15 at 09:30:13
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There's a bit of a misconception here Smiley Just because the modern means your first 2/3 moves are fixed doesn't make it any less work!

It really does allow quite a lot of dangerous, direct attacking tries against it and you'll need to do quite a bit of work to happily survive against them. Probably more than the sundry e5 gambits actually, as they're objectively a little less dangerous.

I'd definitely be reluctant to use it as my only opening if facing regular prepared opposition.
  
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HagenWatch1
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Dangerous to use the Modern Defense all the time?
04/24/15 at 06:21:20
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I've been curious about this idea on the suitability of using the Modern Defense against almost anything White throws at you.

Cyrus Lakdawala says in The Modern Defence on page 10 - "The Modern represents a one size fits all line". Throw it at 1. e4, d4, c4, and Nf3 and you're off to the races.

I've been tempted to try this strategy as Black since I usually have trouble facing the myriad number of options at White's disposal if I answer 1. e4 with e5. I'd have to brace myself to facing the horrors that await me if my opponent tries:

The Belgrade Gambit, The Horrwitz Attack, the Goring Gambit, Blumenfeld Attack, Max Lange Attack, the Evans Gambit, The Scotch Game, Two Knight's Defense, etc.

I didn't even mention the Center Game, the King's Gambit, the Urusov Gambit, etc. It's great that chess offers such a wide variety of opening choices to choose from...but when I'm Black, I'd like to cut down on the theory so I can just play chess. In comes the Modern Defense.

So is the Modern Defense safe to use with every game I get as Black regardless of what White plays? Any thoughts on this? Thanks.
  
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